“I want to be free, it is my right to have an opinion on the country in which I live”

It seems very possible that everything that happened in Cuba since last Sunday, July 11, has been encouraged by a greater or lesser number of people opposed to the system, paid even some of them, with intentions of destabilize the country and cause a situation of chaos and insecurity. It is also true that later, as often happens in these events, opportunistic and regrettable acts of vandalism occurred.

But I think not one nor other evidence take away an iota of reason To the scream we’ve heard A cry that is also the result of the despair of a society that is going through not only a long economic crisis and a punctual health crisis, but also a crisis of confidence and a loss of expectations.

To that desperate claim the Cuban authorities they should not respond with the usual slogans, repeated for years, and with the answers that those authorities want to hear.

I refuse to believe that in my country, there can be so many born and educated people among us who sell themselves or commit crimes. Because if it were, it would be the result of the society that has fostered them.

Leonardo Padura

Not even with explanations, however convincing and necessary they may be. What is imposed are the solutions that many citizens expect or demand, some demonstrating in the street, others giving their opinion on social networks and expressing their disappointment or disagreement, many counting the few and devalued pesos that they have in their impoverished pockets and many, many more, queuing in resigned silence for several hours in the sun or rain, including a pandemic, queues at markets to buy food, queues at pharmacies to buy medicine, queues to reach our daily bread and for everything imaginable and necessary.

I believe that no one with a minimum feeling of belonging, with a sense of sovereignty, with a civic responsibility can want (or even believe) that the solution to these problems comes from any kind of foreign intervention, much less of a military nature, as some have come to request, and which, it is also true, represents a threat which is still a possible scenario.

I also believe that any Cuban inside or outside the island knows that the blocking The US commercial and financial embargo, whatever you want to call it, is real and it has become internationalized and intensified in recent years and it is too heavy a burden for the Cuban economy (as it would be for any other economy).

Working. Leonardo Padura was a jury for the Clarín Novela Prize. Here, Juan José Millás and Sylvia Iparraguirre in the newspaper, in 2016. Photo.Rubén Digilio

Those who live outside the island and today want help their relatives In the midst of a critical situation, they have been able to verify that the blockage exists and how much it exists by seeing practically unable to send a remittance to those close to him, just to mention a situation that affects many. It is an old policy that, by the way (sometimes some forget it) practically everyone has condemned for many years in successive United Nations assemblies.

And I don’t think anyone can deny that a media campaign in which, even in the grossest ways, false information has been released that at the beginning and end only serves to reduce the credibility of its managers.

But I believe, along with all of the above, that Cubans need to regain hope and have a possible image of your future. If hope is lost, the meaning of any humanist social project is lost. And hope is not recovered with force. It is rescued and fed with these solutions and the changes and social dialogues, which, for not arriving, have caused, among many other devastating effects, the migratory anxieties of so many Cubans and now they caused the cry of despair of people among whom there were surely paid people and opportunistic criminals, although I refuse to believe that in my country, at this point, there can be so many people, so many born and educated people among us who sell themselves or commit crimes. Because if so, would be the result of the society that has fostered them.

The warning from the street

The spontaneous way, without being tied to any leadership, without receiving anything in return or stealing anything along the way, with which a notable number of people have also demonstrated in the streets and on the networks, must be an advert and I think it is an alarming example of the distances that have opened between the leading political spheres and the street (and even Cuban leaders have recognized this as such).

And it is only in this way that it is explained that what has happened has happened, more in a country where almost everything is known when you want to know, as we all also know.

To convince and calm those desperate the method cannot be the solutions of strength and darkness, like imposing the digital blackout that has cut off the communications of many for days, but that nevertheless has not prevented the connections of those who want to say something, for or against. Much less can be used as a convincing argument the violent response, especially against non-violent ones. And it is already known that violence can be not only physical.

If hope is lost, the meaning of any humanist social project is lost. And hope is not recovered by force.

Leonardo Padura

Many things seem to be at stake today. Maybe even if calm returns after the storm. Extremists and fundamentalists may not be able to impose their extremist and fundamentalist solutions, and a dangerous state of hatred that has been growing in recent years does not take root.

But, in any case, it is necessary that solutions arrive, answers that should not only be of a material nature but also of a political nature, and thus a Inclusive Cuba and better able to attend the reasons for this cry of despair and loss of hope that, in silence but with force, since before July 11, many of our compatriots had been giving those laments that were not heard and from whose rains these muds arose.

Like cuban who lives in Cuba and works and believes in Cuba, I assume that it is my right to think and express my opinion about the country in which I live, work and where I believe. I know that in times like this and trying to express an opinion, it often happens that “You are always reactionary for someone and red for someone”, as Claudio Sánchez Albornoz once said. Also I take that risk, as a man who pretends to be free, who hopes to be more and more free.

La Joven Cuba and Clarín

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